a workbook for writing your life story

Interview: I created a zine as an excuse to meet Dave Navarro

Interview: I created a zine as an excuse to meet Dave Navarro

We’re interviewing people to get their real-life, crazy-but-true stories. Here’s Kris Evins, interviewed by Christina Atkins.

Was there a moment or experience that really sparked your decision to write down your life story?

During the mid-90’s, my friend and I had a local music ‘zine where we traveled around CA interviewing alt-rock/punk band members. Each trip was an adventure, the interviews were just the cherry on top. Everyone we know has always said we should write a book about it. I’ve been wanting to write it literally since we stopped printing…I’ve started it at least five different times. I was on a roll last Nov. during Nano, but then the election happened. My kids read what I had written up to that point, and I couldn’t help eavesdropping when Emily was reading it out loud to Nick. Their laughter was inspiring, and Em keeps asking when I’ll write more.

How do you like to write?

Currently, usually in the evening or at night, on my laptop, in bed, with really bad posture. Sometimes I sit on my back porch on a nice evening but I don’t have a very good set up for that so it doesn’t last long. Also my kids tend to interrupt me more when I’m out there for some reason?

As you’re working on your story, are any things coming back that you’d nearly forgotten about?

Oh yeah, ALL the time. Some things I had completely forgotten about until I was reminiscing with my friend. Others came to mind when I was putting together the outline.

What are you learning from working on your life story?

Even though I wasn’t actively writing at the time, I did a lot of introspection over this past Winter. I was diagnosed bi-polar in 2008, but never really thought about manic/depressive episodes before the birth of my kids in 2004 (postpartum really seemed to kick it into gear). I had an epiphany, as I tracked periods of my life back, that during the time we had the ‘zine, I was having one long manic episode. It was a little disheartening, because I have always looked back on those memories as the happiest time of my life, despite how irresponsible I was being (ruined my credit by maxing out three credit cards funding these trips, put 100,000 miles on my car in one year). But, that explains the creativity, how I could drive to LA from NorCal and back on little to no sleep, why I was financially careless, and probably my bravery in approaching famous people.

Who are you writing it for?

Originally, for myself…that whole “hey, I was cool once” thing I wanted to preserve. Also for the people who thought it would make a good story. Then, for my kids. But now that it all took place 20 years ago, I feel like it will also be nostalgic for my generation, and maybe some Millennials. After my kids’ reactions, it might provide comedic entertainment for their generation as well.

Do you have a short anecdote inspired by either questions in the book or the Facebook group that you’d be willing to share?

The Music Mondays, for sure. So, the story behind the creation of the ‘zine is somewhat problematic, and, in hindsight, kind of uncool…but there was never any ill-intent involved.

The reason we created it was to give us a “valid” excuse (in our 19 year old minds) to talk to Dave Navarro. There was an article in Spin magazine that gave out a little too much detail about where Dave lived in Hollywood, and we were like, “bet we can find it!” And since we didn’t want to travel 8 hours just to knock on his door and say hi, we threw together a fake ‘zine with a fake interview, designed him a “Guitarist of the Month” award that “our readers” had voted for, and came up with ten off-the-wall questions that “our readers” sent in.

This was before Google existed, so not only was it ambitious on our part, but pretty impressive we actually found his place based on a few landmarks. He was actually really, really cool about it…(despite the fact that we were literal stalkers) and we kept in touch for several years after.

After we had successfully fake-interviewed Dave Navarro, we HAD to brag/share…and this was pre-social-media, so we printed up a new issue, and left copies at local record stores, pizza/sandwich shops, cafes, etc. We used our friend’s PO Box (so we’d look “legit”) and one day he said we had some mail…someone had actually read our lame ‘zine, and actually enjoyed it!

After that, instead of stalking people at their homes, we’d catch them outside of venues they were playing (still technically stalking…) give them an award, ask ten weird questions, take a pic, and if we were lucky, see their show for free!